December 27, 2011

Photo of the day: 109

Filed under: Uncategorized — paul davis @ 8:36 pm

I was out early Christmas morning, while waiting for rolls and teenagers to rise. Delicate frost–breathing on it was enough to chase your subject away.

Where the sun was hitting straight on, the frost was melting first. Same reason it’s hotter in the summer, of course.

Same principle works on the leaves.

Nice blues/grays/whites.

Lucky sun flare across the little pond, which is filling back up these days.

I’m ready to ship the jeweler’s workbench to my friend Janet tomorrow. She doesn’t want it quite yet–still in the midst of a dire remodel–so I’ve been able to obsess happily on the spacing of the drawer fronts. I’ve employed a feeler gauge…had the whole thing apart a dozen times to make a three-thousandth adjustment here or there…your eye can see that much difference. Three hundredths is a thirty-second of an inch, three thousandths is a tenth of that.

It’s made of quarter-sawn sycamore, sawn by my friend Jim Walsh on his frontyard bandsaw mill. I bought it a year ago on a day when I needed only one little walnut board to finish a project. First he filled up my truck with walnut, then he found a piece of boxwood I’d asked him to look out for, then he mentioned some persimmon, which is like box in its weight and turning qualities, then we tripped over a stack of sycamore he couldn’t figure out what to do with–some of it with that basketweave pattern you can see in these photos, especially on the top boards. I’ve never come home yet without a full pickup load. I sticker it in our barn to wait for a project. I’m using up the last of the walnut on a hutch for Bruce and Janet, and about half of the sycamore went into this workbench.

That one piece on the front of the top, which keeps beads from rolling off, is cherry. It’ll darken nicely over the next couple of years to make a contrast. I think the sycamore isn’t going to get much more amber than this. It was pretty white before the oil went on. The three drawer fronts are cut from one wide board, so you can see the grain travel across them.

A slide on each side pulls out for Janet to rest her elbows on when she’s working closely. The bench goes on top of another table, and the artist sits at a stool.

I used a sliding dovetail to attach the drawer fronts to the sides. Hadn’t done that before. It was a little easier than half-blind dovetails, but I found a way to make it plenty finicky. It’s a good way to go if you need space for drawer slides. The three drawers should hold lots and lots of jewelry makings.

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